Toyota 86 versus Honda S2000 on Track

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Two track prepped enthusiast based rear-wheel drive cars chasing around Buttonwillow Raceway makes for an entertaining video.

We came across this fun helmet-cam video from YouTube user Julio Gorgé recentlyHe’s chasing his friend’s S2000 around Buttonwillow Raceway Park in his Toyota 86 at quite a clip. Both cars also use all the track and, occasionally, just a little bit more. Both drivers are familiar with Buttonwillow from taking part in the 86CUP and S2K Challenge respectively which helps explain why they are hovering around the 2-minute mark for laptimes.

It’s a lot of fun to see how the S2000 platform is holding up against the newer Toyota/Subaru collaboration. The reality is that for the same money on a relatively low-mileage S2000, you can pick up a much newer Subaru FR-S. And, if the 86/FR-S/BRZ had been a better all-around car, it may have put a real dent in the longevity of the S2000. However, despite the chassis being up there, the build quality and the engine have left the 86 struggling in today’s market.

Honda’s S2000 showed the world that horsepower isn’t everything by delivering a hugely entertaining engine married to a superb chassis. Unfortunately, although the Subaru boxer engine design gives it a low center of gravity, it’s 200 horsepower is weak. Even now, a 2017 Toyota 86 won’t lay down a faster 0-60 time over a well maintained S2000. But it isn’t just the power, the Subaru boxer engine feels lifeless compared to any Honda F-Series engine. And when it comes to driving a lower horsepower car, how that engine feels and reacts to input absolutely has to match the chassis.

Out on the track like this though, it’s clear that a well built and prepped 86 is something to be reckoned with. With Toyota’s next cost-cutting exercise in enthusiast car production about to hit the market, it’s hard to tell what will happen to the 86. Even if it goes out of production soon though, we suspect s2000 versus 86 track battles are far from over. They may even still be in their infancy.

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Ian Wright has been a professional writer for two years and is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum, Jaguar Forum, and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

His obsession with cars started young and has left him stranded miles off-road in Land Rovers, being lost far from home in hot hatches, going sideways in rallycross cars, being propelled forward in supercars and, more sensibly, standing in fields staring at classic cars. His first job was as a mechanic and then trained as a driving instructor before going into media production.

The automotive itch never left though, and he realized writing about cars is his true calling. However, that doesn’t stop him from also hosting the Both Hand Drive podcast.

Ian can be reached at [email protected]

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